The first round is over and now it’s time for the big guns to come out and play. Our Round 2 NFL Playoff preview includes updated odds, team and league-wide trends, supported by the powerful SDQL database!
Round 2 NFL Playoff Trend: Chalk Bettors Beware!
There’s a saying in sports betting, that if something looks too good to be true, it probably is. Round 2 NFL Playoff favorites are no exception. In fact since 2013, the home faves are just 19-24-3 ATS.
As you can see from the chart above, faves do end up winning 72% of the time straight up. The problem is that bookmakers overcompensate the pointspreads for faves to help offset the influx of casual money that floods in on these big ticket games. Joe Public loves the chalk but as Bill Belichick will tell you himself, he’s only interested in winning by at least one.
Access the entire list of playoff home faves at our free Sports Database.
Indianapolis (10-6) at Kansas City (12-4)
Line: Chiefs -5 and O/U 57
Odds to win Super Bowl: Colts 11/1; Chiefs 4/1
When discussing possible Round 2 NFL Playoff matchups back in August, these two teams were mentioned. The only difference is that most people expected the game would be taking place in Indianapolis, not Kansas City.
Then, after Andrew Luck’s slow start, people started to write him off. Meanwhile, Patrick Mahomes became the flavor of the month in September. Then October. Then November. And then the only rough patch this team hit was in back-to-back losses against the Chargers and Seahawks, and it had nothing to do with Mahomes’ play. The main problem in Kansas City is defense and my first instinct on this game was ‘shootout’. Some things to consider:
- Can Indy’s D slow down Mahomes?
- Is KC’s going to suddenly figure out how to play defense now that January is here?
- What’s the forecast for Kansas City this weekend?
Indy’s defense is solid but it’s not realistic to think they can completely shutdown an offense that put up 35.3 points per game (PPG). One thing I’m keeping an eye on though is the running back situation in KC. They were held to less than 100 yards rushing four times in their past six. RB Damien Williams has good potential but he’s only played in one playoff game during five seasons. The good news is that KC has a talented coaching staff, home field and they’ve had two weeks to prepare for this game.
As of Tuesday, the weather looks fine for Arrowhead and here’s one more thing to consider. The Colts are playing their third-straight road game this weekend. Playoff road warriors on a win streak are 1-6 SU/ATS with 5 overs, 1 under and a push.
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Dallas (10-6) at Los Angeles Rams (13-3)
Line: Rams -7 and O/U 49.5
Super Bowl Odds: Depends where you look!
Anyone reading my posts throughout the years has heard me talk about the importance of having multiple outs. The odds to win the Super Bowl for this game are a perfect example why. At the Greek, Dallas is paying back at 15 to 1 but at Bookmaker, Cowboy backers are getting 20 to 1 odds! Each book is just trying to balance out its action and when it comes to futures, it’s a little more complex than a single matchup but the bottom line is that you have to shop around.
Personally, I don’t see either one of these teams winning the Super Bowl but I am impressed with the way Dallas played against the Seahawks last week. The Cowboys’ offense averaged just 21.2 PPG this season, their second-lowest output since 2006. Since Week 10, their average increases to 23.1 PPG and they are 8-1 SU. Take away that Week 17 matchup in New York where Zeke and some of the defensive starters were sitting, and the Boys are allowing 20.0 PPG. On the road, they gave up 20-19-23 and yet the Rams team total in this game is 28.5.
The Round 2 record for playoff road dogs that have tuned up their D in the second half is 29-20-2 ATS (59%). On average, these games finished with 46 total points but what about when the host team was an offensive juggernaut? LA averaged 32.9 PPG this season, allowing 24, and when the host in this system averaged more than 28.5 points, 15 games went 10-5 O/U. The average score was 31-21 in favor of the host and in my mind, that offers a noteworthy value on the “Over”.
Los Angeles Chargers (12-4) at New England (11-5)
Line: Patriots -4 and O/U 45.5
Odds to Win Super Bowl: Chargers 7/1; Pats 5/1
It looks like the Chargers and the “Under” are getting early action in this one and why not? Two of LA’s four losses were in September against elite offenses (Chiefs/Rams). Another was in December against the Ravens and LA settled the score against KC and Baltimore in rematches. They haven’t played New England since 2017 but Philip Rivers has plenty of pent-up aggression to take out on Tom Brady and The Hood.
Since 2006, Brady is 7-0 SU and 6-1 ATS against the Chargers, outscoring them 26-16
Included in that string of losses for Rivers is a pair of playoff games in 2007-08. The Pats didn’t win the Super Bowl either of those seasons but Brady can fill a hand with his rings and Rivers has never even made the big dance.
New England’s most recent win against a winning team was in Week 13 against Minnesota. New England’s D looked great in that game but they haven’t been anything special since. One word of warning, though. Playoff road dogs of more than 3 points with more wins than their opponent are 0-10 SU and 2-8 ATS. Totals in these 10 games went 6-3-1 O/U but check your weather!
Philadelphia (9-7) at New Orleans (13-3)
Line: Saints -7.5 and O/U 50.5
Super Bowl Odds: Eagles 12/1 and Saints 2/1
The Nick Foles story is an amazing one and when Bears kicker Cody Parkey double-doinked in Sunday’s finale, the saga continued for at least one more week. And as impressive as it is to survive a January meeting at Soldier Field, things for the Eagles are about to get real.
The Saints were 6-1 SU in their first seven home games this season, averaging 37 PPG. The only team that held them under 31 points was the Browns in Week 2. Playoffs included, Payton and Drew Brees are 68-30 SU at the Superdome, winning by 7.1 PPG. Their betting record is so-so at 53-42-3 ATS (56%).
In conference games, the ATS record improves to 59% and if you isolate games where the Saints were facing same-season revenge, they are 8-3 SU but only 6-5 ATS. They outscored those opponents 30.6 to 22.7 (7.9 PPG) but the average line was similar to this one at -8.9 points. The kicker on this angle is that since 2011, New Orleans is 7-1 O/U. The Saints scored 31 points or more in seven of those eight games and the only “Under” was earlier this year when they beat Atlanta 31-17 in Week 12.
Be sure to check the status of the Saints’ offensive line before making any play on this game. I won’t be surprised if the total starts to creep up during the week.